Napoleonic, WSS & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Hooptedoodle #460 - Targeted Advertising - Another Triumph

 Having only recently recovered my composure after learning that I could hire a [1980s] executive jet from my neighbouring village to fly to anywhere I wanted, I take a renewed interest in what a knowledge of my GPS location, presumed access to my Google profile and robot marketing algorithms created by idiots can do to enliven my online experience.

There are, it seems, some very attractive female lawyers who live in lofty apartments in this same village; they all drive top-of-the-range American cars, and they can't wait to meet me. I can understand this, of course.

If I had been worrying about what sort of local experience I could offer these ladies (who are obviously used to only the very best), these same advertisers might now offer some helpful ideas. 

Kelso sheep sales? No - probably not

Tickets to watch Dunbar United in an Easterly gale, with the possibility of a Scotch Pie and a cup of Bovril at half time? Nah - not really

What about a trip to the Seabird Centre? With an ice cream and a chance to make a crayon drawing of a jellyfish? A bit specialised, maybe

Fine dining - how about fish and chips at the North Berwick Fry? Come on - is there no sophistication on offer?


All right then, how about a river cruise at Haddington? Now you are talking. If you don't believe me, take a look at this, and eat your heart out...

... and, just as a fact check, here is a more familiar view of the River Tyne at Haddington, as we know it. The water is certainly deep enough for the swans, though the old Nungate Bridge looks a little tight for a cruiser. And then there's the weir...

Saturday 20 April 2024

Guest Spot: The Pride and the Passion

 Something really special this week. Rob very kindly sent me photos of his newly-finished project, based on the Stanley Kramer movie released in 1957, and I'm really very excited about it, as I hope and expect that you also will be.

A lot of impressive conversion work in here - a small spoiler: Sophia Loren is carved from a Lamming WW2 figure! All will be revealed. Here is Rob's explanatory text about how he went about it.

So here’s the result of the photo-shoot, together with pictures showing the original Newline figures used for Cary & Frank and the Lamming next to Sophia, albeit I did a bit more work on her after that photo.  Work on Cary was minimal, just extending his hat and thinning down his limbs, and Frank just had his limbs slimmed down and repositioned plus a fuse wire rope and solder jacket over his shoulder.  Sophia was a bit of an epic.  Her legs were slimmed down and her arms removed and thinned and then reinserted in the drilled out short sleeves (the original arms are too long and the hands too big); the dress and hair were built up with solder.  As you will see from the final picture even the OOT Warhammer Great Cannon is decidedly under-sized for ‘The Gun’.

Terrific stuff Rob - thanks very much for sharing your photos. Inspirational!

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Valuable Insights into Gettysburg

 When we are confronted by an esteemed scholar, a man with his sensitive fingers right on the pulse of history, we are obliged to listen. It would be sacrilegious, not to say graceless, to fail to do so.

[I strongly refute any suggestion that I have been paid by the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee to promote this video]

Friday 12 April 2024

Product Search #817b

 This is a silly post, but someone may have a good idea. Good ideas are great; I am in favour of them.

I had a stock of circular cast-alloy 20mm diameter bases, very simple design, but nicely rounded at the upper edge. I got them back in the days of the NapoleoN 20 figures - as I recall, you got them with the packs of gunners and of skirmishers. Anyway, I didn't use them for the figures they were supplied with, but subsequently I found them very useful, in all sorts of contexts, for mounting odd sappers, or figures to accompany wagons, or ADCs. Odd-bods; you know how it is.

I guess I must have used them all, because there are none left now. I need some more. I know I can get 20mm round bases in 2mm MDF, and the world is full of plastic bases, with or without slots, but I like the weight of the metal ones, and they are pleasingly slim. With discs of magnetic sheet attached underneath, they store nicely as well.

Anyone know where I might be able to get such things now? A source within the UK would be great, since international postage is now well beyond a joke.

Here's a chance to earn my undying gratitude. 

If I remember, of course.

***** Late Edit *****

See Marc's comment below. It seems I do have some left after all. If I wasn't getting used to this sort of thing, I'd be embarrassed.

Thank you all - I get there in the end.


Tuesday 9 April 2024

Hooptedoodle #459 - Peter Higgs

 I have something of an aversion to the standard "me too" notices which are published on social media when a significant public figure dies; just a personal preference, but I shall break with my traditions and publish a very short note to commemorate the passing of Peter Higgs. Yes, THE Peter Higgs, the man after whom they named the Higgs boson.

I have a  fondness for (popular) science, and have pretended to have some basic grasp of particle physics for some years now, but I am, at best, an imposter. A magazine reader.

Higgs was my first Mathematical Physics lecturer at Edinburgh University, long ago in another century. He was already deeply involved in his theoretical work on sub-atomic particles at that time, though no such topics ever came near us humble first-year students. I remember him as by far the best of the teaching staff in that department (which was swallowed by the Physics Dept some years later), but I have to say the competition was not great as far as imparting knowledge and enthusiasm were concerned. I also saw him often enough during my lunchtime visits to the Edinburgh Bookshop for the next 20 years or so of civilian life to be on what might be described as "nodding terms", though he had no idea who I was. I'm sure he was on nodding terms with most of the customers there, but I remember him as an affable, kindly old fellow.

Tait Institute
He died, at his home in Edinburgh yesterday, aged 94. He is, and will continue to be celebrated as, one of the greats of British Physics, no doubt at all. The old headquarters of the Mathematical Physics Dept, the Tait Institute, at No.1 Roxburgh Street, is mostly just a plaque on an old wall now, but Higgs followed some stellar figures as Professor there; notably PG Tait himself and (spectacularly) Max Born, who held the position from 1936 (when he escaped from Nazi Germany) until his retirement in 1953. My personal recollection of the old place is of freezing cold, occasionally hung-over, Monday tutorials at 8am in the depth of Winter.

My mention of Prof Higgs this evening is because he was one of the few distinguished academics that I might have recognised, and he remains one of the very few aspects of my involvement at the University that I view with anything approaching pride.

Please, if you are interested, have a look at the Wikipedia entry for him.